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Vidya Daanam in Sanskrit means the “Gift of Education”.

It was a 2009 initiative of Sanatana Dharma Foundation. It makes an attempt to create


new futures for children in rural, tribal and backward communities in India, who do not
have access to a modern education.NEWS
It tries to LETTER
break a vicious cycle of poverty, that keeps
deepening with every passing generation, by making education accessible.

1Issue 6 www.vidyadaanam.org April 2011

Eternal Melodies !
An Evening of Bhajans, Ghazals
and Old Hindi Melodies

Saturday, April 30, 2011 6.00 pm


Eisemann Center for Performing Arts,
Bank of America Theater,
2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX 75082

All proceeds from this fund raiser will go towards the annual expenditure of
Chikmangaloor Chatralaya in Karnataka.

Page 1
I am very happy to know that
Sanatana Dharma Foundation
is committed to encourage people to
participate in the educational programs
in India designed to educate children Sanatana Dharma Foundation’s “Vidya Daanam” empowers under-privileged children born
in tribal and rural areas as well as the in rural and remote tribal areas in India by providing them the opportunity to gain a de-
cent education. “Vidya Daanam” works with its Partner organization in India called “Aim
children in the slums of cities. for Seva” whose Vision is to create a National movement of caring to transform society,
by bridging the urban – rural divide in India, through a network of Seva services. Aim for
Among the gifts, Vidya Daanam, Seva is an NGO with special Consultative status with the Economic and Social council of
once given is not expendable. the United Nations.
The primary vehicle through which Aim for Seva
makes its services available is through a Student
Home – also called a “Chatralaya’. The Chatralayas
offer the children a nurturing, stable residential
environment, and become the hub of other activi-
ties such as health care, counseling, mobile medi-
Swamy Dayananda Saraswati, cal facilities for the children as well for the people
Convener, Hindu Dharma Acharya in the rural and tribal areas. Women receive special
Sabha counseling on post natal care, hygiene, child nutri-
tion and so on. Thus the Chatralaya enables the
integration of backward segments of society into
s
the mainstream society.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati on ‘Daanam’ The children in a Chatralaya are inculcated a disci-
plined daily routine that includes prayers, exercises,
study, and recreation. Special emphasis is given to
• The culture of Hindus is one of caring. Elders, animals, air, water, earth, imparting value based education to build character
people all these we care for. As an individual ,as a corporate entity, as of children, enabling them to grow in a safe, healthy
a collective body, we care and we express that care. We grow by car- and conducive environment till they complete their
ing, from being only a consumer to be a contributor. Daanam, giving and secondary education. During the weekends art &
craft classes are also conducted. Special classes
sharing, is a mark of growth. Remaining a consumer all the time, and not
(Sandhya Gurukulam) are held for those children,
becoming a contributor, is not the Vedic view of life. who require additional help in their academics. The
• One’s self-worth is not mere money. It is one’s culture. We have started older children help in keeping the Chatralaya clean.
a movement, a seva movement , that includes validation of cultures. Periodic medical checkups ensure healthy progress
Validation of one’s culture brings respect and appreciation and one gains of the children.
self-worth. Chatralayas are located close to a School, so that the
• If you do not have love , act lovingly; you will discover love. Similarly, in teachers and the School Principal can take personal
the act of giving, you grow, people grow and your country grows. interest in the welfare and progress of the children.
Thus the Chatralaya is a source of stability in the life of
• Keep giving until it hurts. “Giving” is like weight-lifting. You cannot take
a child whose future may otherwise be uncertain. Aim
a small mug and practise weight-lifting! The capacity of weight-lifting is for Seva currently manages over 70 Chatralayas in 13
in the attempt of shaking something that you cannot shake. You can give States, and 10 Schools in 4 states. In addition, Aim for
your time, you can lend a sympathetic ear to someone; lots of people Seva also runs 100+ Balwadis (Pre-school centers) and
want ears. You can express worlds of appreciation, encouragement, em- 130 Sandhya Gurukulams in India.
pathy and so on. Sharing your knowledge with somebody is also caring.
You can also pray for somebody; there are may ways of giving.

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Vidya Daanam Contributions (till date)
Date Contribution Benefeciary Purpose
Organization

May 2011 $25,000 Chikmangalur chantralaya, Continued service to the education of children
(Planned) (Target) Aim For Seva School in in under-privileged communities in
Chikmangaloor Karnataka Chikmangalur, Karnataka

March 2011 USD $ 2062 Veda Patashala Contributions towards preserving Vedic teach-
in Andhra Pradesh ing and cultural heritage

September 2010 USD $ 7,000 Bharath Heritage Continued service to the education of children
Foundation in under-privileged communities in South In-
dia (especially Tamil Nadu)

August 2010 USD $ 2,000 World Association On the occasion of the WAVES conference in
of Vedic Sudies (WAVES) Trinidad and Tobago

June 2010 USD $ 2,000 Sanskrit Scholar Special award for Sampada’s travel and pre-
Shrikon Technologies Smt. Sampada Savardekar sentation at the WAVES conference

March 2010 USD $ 25,000 All India Movement for Seva Donated on the occasion of the Shanti Fund
Raiser Program, in Houston

January 2010 USD $ 8,000 Bharath Heritage Continued support for Children’s education
Foundation through Sandhya Gurukulams
We offer professional consulting services in
Enterprise Resource Planning (SAP, Oracle) & July 2009 USD $ 2,000 Veda Patashala Contributions towards preserving Vedic teach-
in Andhra Pradesh ing and cultural heritage
Cloud Computing Technologies
July 2009 USD $ 30,000 Aim for Seva Contributions towards children’s education -
Chattralaya at Chikmagalur, Karnataka

www.shrikon.com June 2009 USD $ 7,000 Bharath Heritage Foundation Contribution for Sandhya Gurukulam
programs in Tamil Nadu
contact@shrikon.com

Page 4 Page 5
Sharad Gupta’s life has been a musical
journey with an uncommon rhythm. Over
the years he has blossomed into a seasoned
musician with remarkable mastery over his
distinct vocal ability.

Be it Ghazals, Bhajans or even Film songs,


his pliability to numerous musical genres is a
testimony to his illimitable talent.

More info @ www.sharadgupta.com

Sudhir Dave - Flutist & Key-Board player.


Inspired by Flutist uncle, Radio artist, Ma-
hendra Dave (SAREGMA fame US champion
Mauli Dave’s Grandfather). Sudhir started
with light and folk music in his childhood
while musical talent came naturally through
his family background. Sudhir learned clas-
Please bring this ad to get a FREE small gola ganda . This coupon expires on 5/31/2011 sical Flute Music from legendary Gurus like
Pt. Hariprasad Chaurcia and Pt. Ronu Maju-
mudar.

Vijay Abraham , a professional guitarist


from Cochin Arts Academy, started playing
guitar at the age of 7. He recorded albums
at the age of 12 and has accompanied fa-
mous singers like KJ Yesudas, Chitra and
many more.

Denis Das , a prolific Table artist from


Arlington, Texas was born in Trinidad and
Tobago. Dennis is passionate about ihs mu-
sic and hist heritage. He cuducts tabla les-
sons at DFW Hindu temple for free.

Page 6 Page 7
A Chatralaya experience of a member
Namaste,

Want to share the happenings at the other end of Vidyadaanam. We visited the Chatralaya in Indore and
were just mesmerized by the experience! Kids were pretty energetic in the evening even after having
spent a whole day from 4 am on their trip to Ujjain.

Never before have I seen children doing prayers and singing nationalistic songs with such a deep emotion.I
remember, as a child how I just took all the facilities available to me as granted and waited for prayers in
school to just come to an end.

Moreover, never before even for 5 minutes I have


seen a gathering of 50 children as disciplined as
these children were for more than a couple of
hours of our stay.
4701 Frankford Rd, Suite 237, Dallas TX 75287
The ashram looked a comfortable place for
972-931-5999 children,not in terms of materials of comfort
www.vindudallas.com though. However the ashram is very clean and
well organized, equipped with the basic amenities.
The bonding of love between Swamiji, karyakartas
and the children seemed to have made children
adjust so well , so happy and being able to con-

With Best Compliments to centrate on studies in the ashram miles away from
their parents. Apart from studies children help in
maintaining the ashram with all chores from pre-

Vidya Daanam paring food to gardening. They grow their own


vegetables in the ashram !! I felt like asking for
some fresh ones :-)

from After prayers we got to interact with the children.Some of them are really doing well and leading in the studies
in the school. The school is about 3 kilometres from the ashram and there is a arranged vehicle to take them
to the school. There are extra tuitions for weak areas of kids(English and Maths) in the evenings.

Apart from all the things that I mentioned above it is important to mention that the kids have a deep aware-

Kakarlapudi Family
ness of how Swamiji and other people in India and in the US are working hard to make their lives. When asked
what they would do in return they said they would work hard and would make the swamiji’s and ashram’s
name shine. It may sound like a cliche but when the children said that, voice seemed to come not from the
throat but from somewhere else.

Raju, Teja, Samhita & Saanvi When Swamiji asked them to pose their questions to us, they promptly showed their inquisitiveness about life
in US and what is attracting so many people to the US and asked various questions about how we think they
can succeed in their lives.

However hard I may try, I cannot put in words, even a small bit of the experience and the thankfulness ex-
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” ~ Sydney J. Harris pressed there for all the efforts made in this direction.

May the spirit of Vidyadaanam live for years to come!!

Best Regards,
Swati

Page 8 Page 9
Vidya Daanam works with another partner organizations in India, which is doing excellent work in the field,
called Bharat Heritage Foundation (BHF). Bharat Heritage Foundation’s vision is to focus on extremely weak
and under-privileged segments, with a special focus on women.

The primary vehicle through which Bharat Heritage Foundation makes its services available is through a net-
work of teachers who offer evening tuitions and classes in a nmber of surrounding villages. These evening
classes are called ‘Sandhya Gurukulams’. The teachers are trained to deal with exceptionally weak children
- who have gone through the trauma of catastrophic events such as the Tsunami of 2004. Much of BHF’s
activities are concentrated in Tsunami affected areas in Tamilnadu.
The picture shown on the left, is a weekend retreat
camp - in which the students get an opportunity to
spend the entire weekend with a trained teacher. The
teacher leads the students through a variety of learn-
ing excercises - designed to augment what they learn
in school through audio visual and other means.

These weekend retreats are very useful in building


self-esteem and brings back a measure of human dig-
nity and allows these children to integrate back with
mainstream society in the course of time. BHF places
a lot of emphasis on the training and development of
these teachers who are the primary vehicles through
which the programs of BHF called ‘Vidya Vikasini’ are
sustained.

With Best Complements


The picture shown on the right is a tuition class in
progress for girls who are on the threshold of taking
a board exam. BHF’s tuition classes are designed
with a commitment to take these girls to the door-

to Vidya Daanam step of college. When these girls pass their board
exams, it is a matter of great pride for their entire
village - since in many cases, no one has ever at-

From
tempted and passed a State board exam from these
families.

BHF’s Vidya Vikasini program has impacted 1000’s


of girls and made a positive difference in their per-
formance in schools upto 30 to 35%. Once these
girls arrive at college, they themselves develop a

Ashok Gopaldas
belief that they can go farher in life.

The picture on the left shows a Computer training class


that has been set up under the aegis of BHF, in a re-

Jewelers mote village in Tamil Nadu. These computer classes are


extremely popular amongst the students, and are in great
demand. Through well structured 12 to 14 week courses,
teachers of BHF are able to provide hands on training to
these children from very backward areas in India. By se-
lecting only the best students who have performed well
100 S Central Expy # 15 Richardson, TX 75080-6319 in their regular school curriculum, the Vidya Vikasini pro-
gram, creates an incentive for the children to study well
(972) 761-0119 and demonstrate an improvement in performance. Older
girls are encouraged to tutor the younger children, and a
self sustaining structure is being created.

Page 10 Page 11
With Best Compliments to With Best Compliments to
Vidya Daanam Vidya Daanam
from from

Sunil Maini CPA Kalvala Family


6220 Chase Oaks Blvd # 101
Karunakar Rao, Geetha
Plano, TX 75023-4641 -
(972) 516-1172
Sonali & Suraj
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” ~ Andy McIntyre
Education is the movement from darkness to light. ~Allan Bloom

With Best Wishes to


WithVidya
Best Compliments
Daanam to
for spreadingVidya Daanam
the light of knowledge to all
from

Kakarlapudi Family
8150 N MacArthur Blvd #150
Raju, Teja, Samhita & Saanvi
Irving TX 75063
(214) 574-7117 Rajesh Verma & Family
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” ~ Sydney J. Harris

www.outplaceusa.net
Page 12 Page 13
With Best Compliments to With Best Compliments to
Vidya Daanam Vidya Daanam
from from

Bansal Family Koshy Samuel, Sara George


Amit, Vaishali, Ranak & Mahika Kiki & Poki
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school” “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one”
Albert Einstein
~Malcolm S. Forbes

With Best Compliments From

With Best Compliments From


Shweta G. Daftary, DDS
Vidyadaanam’s Online Supporter
300 E Royal Lane Ste 106
6009 Beltline Rd., Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75254 - Tel (972) 239-1998 Irving Texas 75039
1 888 eknazar
dallas.eknazar.com
Page 14 Page 15
FLOWER MOUND HINDU TEMPLE
3325 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, Texas 75022
(A Religious Non-Profit Organization) Tel: 214-513-2564
email: priest@fmhtcc.org

Flower Mound Hindu Temple whole-heartedly welcomes one and all.

Upcoming events in May 2011


Flower Mound Hindu Temple is celebrating its first Thyagaraja Aradhana Carnatic Classical Music
Festival on Saturday May 7, 2011.This all day event starts at 10 A.M. with traditional Pancha Ratna
Kirtanas followed by individual and group performances through out the day.

If you would like to sing any composition of Thyagaraja, play veena or flute, or accompany on mru-
5427 N MacArthur Blvd Irving TX 75038 dangam, please send an email to
volunteer-coordinator@fmhtcc.org or Call 214 682 1853.
972-853-8803
Page 16 Page 17
With Best Compliments!
With Best Compliments to Vidya Daanam
Sirish Poondla from Yuva Telugu Radio
Realtor
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Specialize in: Ask me about


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With Best Compliments to


Vidya Daanam
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- Will Durant

Page 18 Page 19
With Best Compliments to
VidyaDaanam
from

Venkat Kodali
Jayashree Kodali
Varsha Kodali
&
Varun Kodali

Page 20 Page 21
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Vidya Daanam
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Page 22 Page 23
With Best Compliments to
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Page 24 Page 25
With Best Compliments to With Best Compliments to
Vidya Daanam Vidya Daanam
from from

Sreeramachary Chellappa & Col Devabattini Venkateshwarlu


Jayalakshmi Chellappa &
“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”
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With Best Compliments to With Best Wishes to


Vidya Daanam Vidya Daanam
from from

Nakta Family Dr. Arvind Neelakantan &


Dr Raju, Jyothi, Divya Dr. Sandhya Iyer
“If the poor children cannot come to education, education must go to them”
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Page 26 Page 27
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With Best Compliments to With Best Wishes to


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Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Dr Naresh Gupta


Dr Arti Gupta Rajneesh Gupta
Ishan Gupta Abhinav Gupta
Tanisha Gupta Arnav Gupta

Page 28 Page 29
With Best Wishes to With Best Wishes to
Vidya Daanam Vidya Daanam
from from
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Anupkumar Shetty
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Page 30 Page 31
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With Best Compliments to With Best Compliments to


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from from

The Agarwal family Chander Pal


Chitra Agarwal Latha
Nikita Agarwal Aniket &
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Page 32 Page 33
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Page 34 Page 35
A Tribute to Sri Sathya Sai Baba (1926 – 2011)
Sanatana Dharma has given rise to many holy men and women, many exalted souls, many Rishis,
Yogis, Acharyas and Mahatmas during the course of its life, during the times of its ascent and great-
ness as well as its eclipse and decline. Within the fold of Sanatana Dharma, it is possible for a hu-
man being through self-initiated effort, discipline, Yoga and Yagna, to ascend to the status of an au-
thentic vehicle of the divine. It is possible for a human being to slowly lose the hold that our desire
for security and pleasure have on our minds, and become available for the work of the divine. In
as much measure that an individual gives up his human frailties and bondage, and ascends towards
the divine, in equal measure the divine also descends upon that human being, further purifying him,
and preparing him (or her) for the work of the divine. In fact, this is the central motif of Sanatana
Dharma – the ascent of the human spirit towards the divine, and the descent of the divine into the
human being. Even in the times of the greatest tribulations, India has produced such divine persons
in every nook and corner of her land.
The Rishis, Yogis, Acharyas and Mahatmas each represent an
extraordinary variety of possibilities for the human being, and offer a
vast diversity of ways and means of self-initiated effort, Sadhana and
ascent towards the divine. Our own time is blessed by many hun-
dreds of these. While all of them could be said to be in various states
of ascent and readiness, even as they offer the gifts of their knowl-
edge and wisdom to the people around them, one type amongst them
towers above them all. This is the Avatar, who has wholly descended
from divine into human form, with an explicit purpose in mind.
Unlike the typical Rishi, Yogi, Guru or Mahatma, the Avatar is of a different mettle altogeth-
er. He is not a human being also on a path of Sadhana, like the others. He is born into the human
fold, but with an awareness of his status, purpose and mission that is not comparable to the oth-
ers. The Avatar is distinguished by this awareness early in their life, and their singleminded com-
mitment to the fulfillment of that purpose throughout the course of their life. In certain cases, the
Avatar exhibits miraculous capacities that far exceed the normal human being.
Satya Sai Baba was the great Avatar of our age, the great example of this Avataric possibility
spoken of in our sacred scripture. He was a light that lit up the hearts and minds of millions around
the world, a figure of incomparable wisdom, and a vehicle for Dharma Samsthapana unlike any
that we may ever encounter in our lives. As he himself said, what we have been able to see of him,
is only an infinitesimal fraction of the power and possibility of his Avatar. To his devotees he was
God himself, a Bhagavan, a divine being, incomparable and extra-ordinary. To all others who were
not given the grace of coming into his proximity and experience his grace personally, it is sufficient
that they know of him as one of the great pillars of Sanatana Dharma of our time. A great light that
was shining for 85 years, in Puttaparthi, in South India has gone out. Sathya Sai Baba has left his
mortal body, and ascended to whence he came from. He has promised that he will come again as
Prema Sai, to complete the triple Avatar – Shirdi, Sathya and Prema. Let us pray that the human
beings who have now been entrusted with the continuance of his various charitable works find the
discipline and courage to do so with dignity, even as we pray for the soul of Satya Dai Baba and
say our farewell to him, in the best way we know how, and await for the next iteration of the
Avatar. Om Tat Sat
Page 36

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